The Rapidian

Care for some art with your beer?

Using HopCat as a venue to showcase these works was an ideal setting to allow the audience to dwell on the analytical subjects and take it in with a crisp, handcrafted beer to go with the handcrafted art around them.
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Hopcat as a 2011 ArtPrize venues offers potential for existential reflections on what it is to be human

Sarah Laman

Joe Horton

Hopcat

By Becca Hawkins, Hope College student

Care for some art with your beer? No, it’s not a sarcastic joke about the bar economy during ArtPrize. It’s a legitimate question if you’re visiting one of the more hoppin’ venues at ArtPrize: HopCat.

HopCat is the third best beer bar in the world according to Beer Advocate and is located near the center of downtown Grand Rapids on 25 Ionia. Just like the beer, the space feels handcrafted with a rustic quality. The raw brick walls were perfect frames for the atmosphere and the art.

I visited this venue as the nightlife was starting up on the first Saturday of ArtPrize; needless to say the crowd was almost as interesting as the art. The atmosphere suited the artwork well because a lot of the subjects were people. It varied from sculpture to photography to paint to charcoal, and even stained glass.

Sarah Laman’s, The Laman Family Portrait Project was a fresh perspective on portraits. Her piece dealt with the genealogical comparison of faces, with morphed black and white portraits of a half old and half young family member. This is a unique take on creating a genealogy, as we see how the face of a family changes through generations.

Joe Horton’s work also deals with the interpretation and mutation of a human portrait. Horton’s, How it Ends and Begins focuses on the musculature of our bodies as a metaphor for what it means to be human. The juxtaposition of Horton’s internal analysis of the human figure and Laman’s external analysis of the human figure in this venue complemented the mass of people surrounding those works to create a triadic portrait of the literal human, the perceived human, and the actual human.

Using HopCat as a venue to showcase these works, among others, was an ideal setting to allow the audience to dwell on the analytical subjects and take it in with a crisp, handcrafted beer to go with the handcrafted art around them.

 

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